When storage ‘solutions’ are actually problems

Now here’s my dilemma. In theory I love ‘storage solutions’. I see cute little baskets and neat boxes all stacked up and I want them all. ALL!! There’s nothing quite like a cup of coffee and a Kmart catalogue. Sad, but true.

In practice, however, most of the time more storage isn’t the answer.

In fact, sometimes storage ‘solutions’ just create more problems.

Here’s what I mean.

Every time I go to the shops I almost have to tie my hands together to stop myself buying a kitchen sink caddy. I just love them. I think they look so tidy and organised. I imagine my home would look sooooooooo much better with a kitchen sink caddy. Life would be wonderful. Home Beautiful magazine would come knocking.

But then I imagine the grime that would inevitably start to build up inside it and underneath it.

And it would go something like this …

  • I’d notice the grime and promise myself I’d clean it (but next time obviously).
  • Each time I see it, I’d remember that I haven’t cleaned it yet (but can’t do it right now, obviously).
  • I’d develop anxiety about how much bacteria might be growing there.
  • I’d eventually give it a clean, soak it in some vinegar, and then watch it become dirty again.
  • And repeat. And repeat.

I do NOT have time for that.

And nor do you. My goal is to make my life (and your life) simplier and when storage solutions can do that, sure I’m all for them.

But when these so-called solutions make things harder then you’re better off saving your money.

So what storage solutions are actually worth it?

Here are some storage solutions I couldn’t live without (obviously that’s a bit dramatic, but you know what I mean).

  • Desk caddies — a large desk organiser keeps my paperwork in order and my desk neat. Smaller desk caddies/pen holders keep my children’s desks tidy.
  • Storage baskets — I have a few of those cube storage things and they’re a mess without inserts, especially in the kids’ rooms. In other cupboards, I also use baskets to group together like items (phone chargers) and to make it easier to store and retrieve items from high shelves.
  • Drawer dividers — I’m a recent convert to drawer dividers, especially for the bathroom drawers and in children’s drawers (great for separating things like socks and undies).
  • Wire shelving for pantries — I bought some extra wire shelves for our pantry and it doubled our storage space and allowed us to see everything much easier (which stops you buying stuff you already have). Best $6 I ever spent.
  • Plate stackers — we have a small kitchen so going vertical in our cupboards was a necessity. I even use one for frying pans and saucepans lids.

And these storage solutions caused more problems.

  • Bamboo vanity organisers with soap dispensers. The water and steam in my bathroom quickly decimated ours. I was so disappointed that I took it back to the store for a refund as it was not fit for purpose.
  • Bath toy organisers — especially nets. These quickly become very gross. After some trial and error, I bought a simple small plastic basket to store bath toys.
  • Kitchen sink caddy. My imaginary kitchen sink caddy caused me loads of imaginary grief.

And the two biggest mistakes you’ll make when buying storage

Clever use of storage can help you control the clutter in your house but there are two things you need to do BEFORE you go out and spend your hard-earned cash.

  • You need to declutter before you buy extra storage. Hopefully after you declutter you won’t need to buy anything! Buying loads of storage to hide away your clutter is not solving the problem — it’s just hiding the problem, or making it look a little neater.
  • If you’ve done your declutter, then you have to work out exactly what storage you need before you buy. Don’t go out and buy a heap of boxes or baskets and then come home and attempt to fit things in them. Sort everything beforehand so you go out knowing exactly what and how much you need. Take measurements of shelves and spaces before too, to make sure they’ll fit where you need them to!

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